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Denver Broncos v Jacksonville Jaguars - NFL London Games 2022 - Wembley Stadium

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This week featured a shot from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll at former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson regarding past “resistance” to wearing a wristband. Lost in the back and forth between Carroll and Wilson (who replied by pointing out they won a lot of games without Wilson wearing a wristband) overlooked one key fact.

In his most recent game with the Broncos, Wilson was wearing a wristband.

It was the first game of the year in which Wilson opted for the accessory. Coincidentally (or not), Wilson opted to go with the wristband a week after he missed a game due to injury and his replacement, Brett Rypien, used one.

“We’ve been looking at everything and thinking of anything we can do to help our process, help our offense, do whatever we have to do,” coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters earlier this week. “Whether that’s going to be the reason why we win or lose the game, looking back at the Jacksonville game, I don’t know. We just always want to evaluate everything and try to find a way to get better. If that’s going to help us get better, then we want to do it.”

Hackett also was asked whether Wilson resisted wearing a wristband.

“No,” Hackett said. “It was just one of those things we decided collectively as a group that it would help us.”

So this means Wilson will be wearing a wristband every week, right? That’s where things got a little weird.

“It could be,” Hackett said as to whether the wristband will remain in place. “I think for us if it helps, then why not use it? Right now, we’re 1-0 with it. I mean, hey, let’s move forward. Again, a lot of quarterbacks use it across the league. It’s one of those things, if it gives you some kind of advantage or helps you, then we want to do everything we can.”

Why not “yes” or “hell yes”? The advantages are obvious. Chris Simms explained them during a recent episode of PFT Live.

Above all else, Simms said it streamlines the play calling process. Instead of rattling off what can be a very long play name and then having the quarterback repeat it in the huddle, the coach says, “27.” The quarterback then goes to play number 27, and he calls that play. Beyond the benefit of efficiency, nothing gets lost in the translation from the coach to the quarterback.

Hackett said similar things when discussing the situation with reporters, and he cited another key factor.

“There’s a couple of different things,” Hackett said. “As a play designer, sometimes you want to get a little creative and those things can get a little bit verbose. You want to have it so it’s easier, instead of having to call it and then communicate it. There’s a whole process from when I give it to him, to when he has to process it, to when he has to go in there. Sometimes we get a little elaborate on those things because we’re sometimes trying to get a little crazy. So, it allows you to do that. I think it also helps with crowd noise. If you have crowd noise going, from him listening to me, he just has to hear one wristband number, and then he can go in there and communicate to the guys properly. There’s a lot of different things that it’s good for.”

Thus, it’s all plus and no minus for having a wristband. So why didn’t Wilson wear a wristband from the start of the season?

“It’s a relationship thing as far as how we function as an offense,” Broncos offensive coordinator Justin Outten said. “You look around the league and you’re sitting there going, ‘Well, how are we behind in play clocks? How are we doing certain things early on in the season? How can we help this?’ We’re always digging and trying to find things that help us out.”

It’s still odd that they wouldn’t have identified the absence of a wristband far earlier than Week Seven, when Rypien wore one. It should have been one of the first things the Broncos identified after Week One, when they struggled to get plays in before the play clock went to zero. At the latest, it should have happened after Week Two, when the Broncos added Jerry Rosburg — the coach who coaches the coach.

There’s no reason for Wilson to not have it today. Even if it simply says “Let’s Ride” over and over again (Josh Alper came up with that one), the presence of the device keeps its absence from becoming an issue.

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